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Judas Maccabaeus

Composer: Handel George Frideric

Instruments: Voice Soprano Alto Tenor Bass Mixed chorus Orchestra

Tags: Sacred oratorios Oratorio Religious music


Download free scores:

Complete. Complete Score PDF 55 MB
Complete. Complete Score PDF 15 MB
Abridgements. Complete Score PDF 7 MBAbridgements. Complete Score PDF 6 MB
Complete. Complete Score PDF 29 MB
Selections. Aria: Arm, arm ye brave! (Part I, No.9) PDF 0 MBSelections. Aria: From mighty kings (Part II, No.21) PDF 0 MBSelections. Aria: Father of Heaven (Part III, No.31) PDF 0 MBSelections. Aria: Sound an alarm! (Part II, No.28) PDF 0 MB
Selections. Segment 1 PDF 35 MBSelections. Segment 2 PDF 32 MB
Complete. Complete Score PDF 7 MB
Selections. Act III, No.64. Chorus: To our Great God PDF 0 MB
Complete. Complete Score PDF 18 MB
Complete. Complete Score PDF 54 MB
Complete. Complete Score PDF 26 MB
Complete. Complete Score PDF 11 MB
Complete. Complete Score PDF 23 MB
Selections. Aria: Arm, arm ye brave! (Part I, No.9) PDF 1 MB

Parts for:

AllViolinViolaTrumpetTimpaniOrganOboeFrench hornFluteCelloBassoon



Duet: Come, ever-smiling liberty (Part I, No.13b). Cello + Piano (Philipp Roth)March (Act III, No.36). Organ + Trumpet (Rondeau, Michel)Chorus: See, the conqu'ring hero comes! (Part III, No.35). Piano (Moritz Moszkowski)Chorus: See, the conqu'ring hero comes! (Part III, No.35). Mixed chorus + Female chorus (Unknown)Chorus: See, the conqu'ring hero comes! (Part III, No.35). Recorder(4) (Gomez Gomez, Alberto)Selections. Piano (Edward Francis Rimbault)Chorus: See, the conqu'ring hero comes! (Part III, No.35). Mixed chorus (Unknown)Chorus: See, the conqu'ring hero comes! (Part III, No.35). Piano four hands (Moritz Moszkowski)March (Act III, No.36). Keyboard (Gouin, Pierre)March (Act III, No.36). Trombone + Trumpet(2) + Tuba (Vilmos Székelyhidi)Overture. Harpsichord (Gouin, Pierre)Chorus: Halleluja, Amen (Act III, No.41/42). Orchestra (Stenov, Michael)Selections. Organ (William Thomas Best)Chorus: See, the conqu'ring hero comes! (Part III, No.35). Cello + Flute + Harp + Piano (John Freckleton Burrowes)Duet: Come, ever-smiling liberty (Part I, No.13b). Piano + Female chorus (J. Michael Diack)
Judas Maccabaeus (HWV 63) is an oratorio in three acts composed in 1746 by George Frideric Handel based on a libretto written by Thomas Morell. The oratorio was devised as a compliment to the victorious Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland upon his return from the Battle of Culloden (16 April 1746). Other catalogues of Handel's music have referred to the work as HG xxii; and HHA 1/24.
Morell's libretto is based on the deuterocanonical (or apocryphal) book 1 Maccabees (2–8), with motives added from the Antiquitates Judaicae by Flavius Josephus.
The events depicted in the oratorio are from the period 170–160 BC when Judea was ruled by the Seleucid Empire which undertook to destroy the Jewish religion. Being ordered to worship Zeus, many Jews obeyed under the threat of persecution; however, some did not. One who defied was the elderly priest Mattathias who killed a fellow Jew who was about to offer a pagan sacrifice. After tearing down a pagan altar, Mattathias retreated to the hills and gathered others who were willing to fight for their faith.
Handel's music depicts the changing moods of the Jewish people as their fortunes vary from dejection to jubilation.
The people mourn the death of their leader Mattathias, but his son Simon tries to restore their faith and calls them to arms (Arm, arm, ye brave). Simon's brother, Judas Maccabaeus, assumes the role of leader and inspires the people with thoughts of liberty and victory through the power of Jehovah.
The people have been victorious, but Judas is concerned that vanity will cause the people to claim victory for themselves. When news arrives that the Seleucid commander Gorgias is preparing to enact revenge, the people's joyous mood gives way to wailing and dejection (Ah! wretched Israel!). Again Judas rallies the people (Sound an alarm) and insists that the pagan altars must be destroyed and that false religions must be resisted.
Victory has finally been achieved for the Jewish people (See, the Conqu'ring Hero Comes!). News arrives that Rome is willing to form an alliance with Judas against the Seleucid empire. The people rejoice that peace has at last come to their country (O lovely peace).
The first performance took place on 1 April 1747 at Covent Garden, and Judas Maccabaeus became one of Handel's most popular oratorios. The General Advertiser (issued on the day prior to the concert) announced the event as:
At the Theatre-Royal in Covent-Garden To-morrow, will be perform'd a New Oratorio, call'd JUDAS MACCHABAEUS With a New Concerto Pit and Boxes to be put together, and no Person to be admitted without Tickets, which will be delivered that Day, at the Office at Covent-Garden Theatre, at Half a Guinea each. First Gallery 5s.; Second Gallery 3s.6d. The Galleries to be Open'd at Half an Hour after Four o'Clock. Pit and Boxes at Five.
The performers in this original 1747 production included:
The famous chorus See, the Conqu'ring Hero Comes! was composed during the summer of 1747 for Handel's next oratorio, Joshua. In the wake of its popularity, probably in 1751, Handel added it to Judas Maccabaeus, and so it forms a legitimate part of both oratorios.
A re-orchestration of Judas Maccabaeus has been attributed to Mozart. A score was rediscovered in 2001, having been presented to the Halifax Choral Society in 1850.
Judas Maccabaeus was translated into German and published in 1866 as Volume 22 of the Händel-Gesellschaft.
Come, ever smiling Liberty, / And with thee bring thy jocund train is sung by Maria, the heroine of Mary Wollstonecraft's novel Maria (1798), at the point where she believes herself to have escaped from her abusive husband. She calls her state "Comparative liberty", suggesting that "the jocund train lagged far behind!" because she takes no pleasure in her need for the separation.
The third act chorus See, the Conqu'ring Hero Comes! has been adapted several times.
Ludwig van Beethoven composed twelve variations on the for piano and cello in 1796 (WoO 45).
The German Advent song "Tochter Zion, freue dich" by Friedrich Heinrich Ranke, published in 1826, uses the tune. In 1884 the Swiss writer Edmond Louis Budry wrote new French words to the tune, creating the Easter hymn "À toi la gloire, O Ressuscité!", which was later translated into English as "Thine Be the Glory".
"See, the Conqu'ring Hero Comes!" gained familiarity as the tune invariably played by brass bands at the opening of new railway lines and stations in Britain during the 19th century.
The military march "Honor i Gloria a los Héroes de la Patria" (1891) by the Italian-born Chilean composer Pedro Césari uses the melody in its middle section. It is the official parade march of the Chilean Air Force Aviation School.
The tune was adapted as a movement in Sir Henry Wood's Fantasia on British Sea Songs (1905), which is regularly played at the Last Night of the Proms concert
A Hebrew translation of "See, the Conqu'ring Hero Comes!" by Aharon Ashman [he], prepared for the 1932 Maccabiah Games, has become popular in Israel during Hanukkah. Another Hebrew version for Hanukkah (not a translation) was written by the Israeli children's poet and author Levin Kipnis.
The song "Zion's Daughter" uses a reworked version of the tune of "See, the conqu'ring hero comes!" It was included in Boney M's 1981 Christmas Album.
An instrumental rendition of the chorus is played during award ceremonies at Japanese schools while recipients proceed to the stage to receive their awards.
The following orchestration was recorded by Chrysander in the Händel-Gesellschaft edition of 1866:
The following table summarises the movements of the oratorio.